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The expeditions which headed north into the unknown wastes of the Arctic did so in defiance of terrible odds, and the names of those who led them - Frobisher, Cook, Hudson, Davis, Baffin, Parry, Ross and Franklin himself - are central to the mythology of European exploration. This new book tells the story of their remarkable feats and describes how the vast tracts of the ice bound archipelago were slowly and painfully charted.